Developing Your Career

Lying on Your Resume Will Cost You

By James Greenway on May 16, 2012

Are you playing “truth or consequences” with your future?  In a competitive job market some individuals may be tempted to embellish their resumes to increase their chances of being hired.  But don’t let short-term expediency overshadow long-term goals.  Getting caught in a lie will damage your reputation, your credibility and, quite possibly, your future.  And you will get caught.  Just look at Scott Thompson, the ousted CEO of Yahoo who misrepresented his educational background to board members and regulatory agencies alike and is now suffering the consequences.  And he’s hardly alone.  According to a survey nearly half of hiring managers reported having caught a candidate lying on a resume. 

The internet and social networks make this a much more transparent world and it’s easier than ever for HR professionals to check the veracity of information provided by candidates.  And the consequences of getting caught can be harsh. Job offers have been rescinded; careers have been cut short.  The best advice: don’t do it.  A strong, productive relationship between employee and employer must be built on a foundation of trust.  Lying on your resume puts that relationship on very shaky ground.  Here are some tips for maintaining your integrity while developing your resume:

  • Don’t exaggerate accomplishments.
  • Don’t overstate skills or experience. 
  • Don’t embellish educational achievements, including GPAs and activities.
  • Don’t falsely claim awards or recognition.
  • Don’t falsify dates of employment.

Integrity costs nothing, but even a momentary lapse of integrity can cost a lot.  Just ask Scott Thompson.

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